Bathers packed Camps Bay beach yesterday. To enjoy a safe beach experience, swim only where and when lifeguards are on duty between the red and yellow flags. Photo: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Five people drowned across the province on Christmas Day and authorities are still searching for a 14-year-old boy from Parow, who encountered difficulty while swimming at Lagoon Beach, in Milnerton on Saturday.

On Christmas Day at about 9am, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Mossel Bay were activated to reports of a drowning in progress near to the mouth of the Great Brak River.

Municipal lifeguards initiated a search for an eight-year-old girl missing in the river.

After she was found, lifeguards performed CPR, but doctors declared her dead in hospital.

At about 12pm the same day, a 20-year-old man swimming at Deep Blue on Strand Beach encountered difficulty in the surf.

“He was recovered from the surf and lifeguards commenced CPR, but unfortunately, the patient was eventually declared deceased by medical personnel on the scene,” mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith said.

At about the same time that afternoon NSRI Wilderness responded to Wilderness Beach following reports of three people caught in rip currents.

The three were a man and his relatives from Holland.

After extensive CPR the man was declared dead, and the other two were fine once out of the water.

The Department of Tourism is assisting the deceased man’s wife and his two daughters.

Still on Christmas Day, at 4.15pm, a man drowned in Buffalo Bay.

“We believe that lifeguards and two surfers located and recovered an unconscious man from the water and he was brought onto the shore where four doctors, who happened to be there at the time on holiday, had commenced CPR.

“Efforts were exhausted, but the man, who is believed to be from Malawi, was declared deceased,” NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

Later in the evening, Kleinmond authorities responded to the Palmiet River bridge following reports from a group of men suspecting their 28-year-old friend to have drowned earlier that afternoon.

“It appears that a group of men were jumping off the bridge into the river and swimming when one man is believed to have been in difficulty.

“While the group of friends helped their friend we believe they didn’t notice